I make no claim of being an expert on e-motors. That being said I have had seven different e-motors on my trike thus far. The first three were all BionX which the dealer installed. Even with them I had the experience of uninstalling them and reinstalling them myself. And all of the rest of the motors I installed myself. What I am trying to say is that by now I have had quite a lot of experience installing and uninstalling e-motors. The clutch went out on my last e-motor so I started looking at what is available to replace it. I don’t care for crank drive motors so didn’t bother looking at any of them.

I found a complete motor conversion kit for only $469. That does not include a battery but I already have a few batteries so $469 was an attractive deal. Of course, it comes from China and there are no helpful instructions that are provided. Installing it was not a problem but getting it to work without instructions was quite challenging. Fortunately I was able to find instructions online which was a big help. I got it running but the top speed was quite slow. I was ready to send it back for a refund when I sort of accidentally stumbled across the problem and got it resolved. If only the Chinese would include instructions all of this could have been avoided.  For what it is worth, I just now found one user manual which covers what the problem was and why I wasn’t getting much speed or power out of this new motor. Anyway, I am writing this article in hopes it will help others in getting their self installed e-motor system up and running.

My new system uses the LCD-SW900 display console controller which is a common display console controller various e-motor manufacturers use. I did not use the cadence assist hardware component in my installation. I may install it sometime in the future. I only have a manual thumb throttle hooked up. Upon completing the installation using a 48 volt battery (this motor is made for 72 volts) my top speed was only 5.6 mph and had no torque available at all to climb the slightest incline. I rode it that way for a couple of days.That is a mighty slow ride but still better than I can do on my own without any e-motor assist. About 2/3 of the way into my second day of riding so slowly I just happened to discover the answer to more speed and power. I pushed the UP ARROW button on the 3 button control which caused it to go from power level one to power level two. (PAS — power assist — level is displayed at bottom left corner of SW900 display) Simple enough but without any knowledge and understanding of how it works … well … I was stuck at 5.6 mph as when first turning the system on PAS 1 is what it starts out in by default. If only they had provided instructions. Anyway, I knew that 5 levels of e-motor assist were programmed into the SW900 display console controller so I continued to press the UP ARROW button watching it change up to assist level 5 and experiencing more speed and power with each level of increase. Hallelujah! ! Happy days are here again! Definitely this is the most powerful e-motor I have had installed yet. It is not as fast top speed as my former e-motor but I am really liking it as it is whisper quiet and far more powerful. I am tempted to buy a 72 volt battery just to see if this motor will perform as advertised … about 45 mph top speed. I am nearly 76 years old and probably should avoid the temptation as I would likely find myself careening off of a tree unless I wrapped myself around it. BTW, to go down in the assist level pushing the DOWN ARROW button lowers it one level at a time. Turning power on and off is accomplished by holding the middle button down a few seconds. So if you find yourself in the same situation I was in hopefully this will help you.

Speaking of help:

SW900 manual

SW900 manual

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting



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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)


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